So, you have decided to enrol your child in karate. Their first-ever class may be quite intimidating as the environment is new, but very soon they will get acquainted with the gym and their drills.
To help students and their parents better understand what karate classes for kids entail, we have put together this guide on what to expect from their first one.
How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Karate Class
Do you remember when your child walked for the first time? Or their first day at school? Maybe they were scared, excited, or happy. The same goes for their first karate class. If you have enrolled your child into karate (there are also karate classes for toddlers!), here’s what to know to prepare them.
- Martial Arts Are for Everyone: Your child may think that karate is for grown-ups with a stronger physique, but karate is for everyone. It’s not about size or strength; it’s more about strategy and strength. That means even shorter or smaller students can be great if they know the right strategies.
- Being Nervous Is Natural: Most of us get nervous when we try something the first time. The same thing can happen with your child. You have to understand that they are heading into a new environment. That includes their uniforms, fellow students, and teacher.
Discuss what they can expect from their first karate class and suggest that they keep an open mind. Assure them that you are always there to support them. Even if they get nervous, scared, or fail, that is completely okay. Put your trust in them, the instructors, and the school. Gradually your child will adapt to the new environment and begin to enjoy the experience.
- Be a Cheerleader But Don’t Push: Parents usually encourage their children – sometimes too much. There is a thin line between healthy encouragement and pushing beyond their limit. Don’t be hard on them. Instead, praise them when things are done correctly and motivate them when they require a boost. Just be sure not to interfere with the class.
What Kids Can Expect From Their First Karate Class
We have gathered some useful information to help you understand what to expect during the first karate class.
- Before the Class: Since this is your child’s first class, arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand. That way, if you have any questions, you will have enough time to talk to the instructor (or sensei). Make sure your child has a water bottle in order to stay hydrated.
The instructor will greet you and your child. After the introduction, the class will start. We suggest you stay and watch if you are allowed.
- During Class: At the beginning of the class, the new student will bow along with everyone else. This is a gesture that shows respect to the school and the art. Then the sensei will have your child line up by belt order. As they become more proficient, they will be promoted from white belt to yellow belt and so on.
- Warm-Up & Stretching: Every class will start with a warm-up and stretch. This may continue up to 15 minutes to develop their cardiovascular endurance, overall fitness, and flexibility. It will also keep your child from getting hurt.
- The Class: In the first karate class, your child will learn basic moves and stances. These are the building blocks of everything they will do on their way to achieving a black belt. Your child may be introduced to concepts like kata (patterns of movement), choku-zuki (straight punch forward), and mae geri (front kick). These initial moves will help to instill them with confidence, discipline, and dedication.
- End of Class: After the individual and group practice ends, everyone lines back up. The class ends by bowing to and thanking the sensei. Once again, when your child leaves the dojo, they will bow, facing the dojo to show respect. We always follow up with new students and parents to see how things went, answer any questions, and discuss the exciting things we will be doing in future classes.
We hope this information will help you prepare your child for their first karate class. If you are looking for the best karate class for toddlers or want more information regarding other martial arts, contact us at 647-999-0022.